The City Beautiful (Jack Phelan)

“The City Beautiful”

Lyrics: Jack Phelan.
Tune: Unknown.


Behold!
She sits upon a pile of offal!
Polluting the fresh waters at her feet,
While, ’round her head the four winds that meet
Grow noisome from her putrid breath. Yea, awful.

Look!
Her marts are groaning with the golden grain
That flows to her from many fertile plain,
Yet, famine gnaws her vitals, night and day,
And lo! Her fairest must take harlot’s pay.

Listen!
The cry of children, swine and cattle,
Commingling in one vast rattle.
While hordes of men she calmly sweeps
In the composts of her value heaps.

Hark!
The din of shops, the whirr of wheels,
See sly death stalking each worker’s heel
And the only choice for him who fails
Is work-house, poor-house, mad-house, jails.

Hurrah!
She well rewards her chosen few
Purple lady, and slum house shrew.
Fakir and statesman of ill report,
Judge and journalist, actor and sport.
And at the head of her favorite list,
The wanton, hideous capitalist.

Hush!
Not Sodom, Pryne nor Jezebel!
Will name her name,
So, call her Hell.


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